Lee Clark has warned his Blackpool players that their actions off the field are as important as those on it.
The manager spoke out after his striker Nile Ranger was kept out of the squad for Saturday’s draw at Charlton after again attracting negative headlines.
While Clark insists Ranger’s absence in the past two games wasn’t the result of a driving incident which led to the former Newcastle frontman being questioned by police, it’s understood the manager was less than impressed.
And he warned his much-improved Pool squad of their responsibilities – not just on match days.
“You have to be a good professional off the field and do things in the right way,” said Clark.
“There are standards I expect of my football players, and when players don’t adhere to those it doesn’t matter what happens on the pitch.
“I want to change the perception of Blackpool in the public eye.
“The fighting spirit is getting positive vibes from people but I want to change the way people look at this club.
“I’m a family man and I believe in those aspects of the game.
“The players I’ve brought in are all good professionals, who have played at the highest level. They are good pros and that’s why I’ve brought them here.
“Good professionals end up with good careers and are able to look after their families.
“It’s not just about talent – it’s what you do in the town, on the training ground and in hotels when we stay away. Those things are all important to me.”
Ranger, 23, described his move to Pool as his last chance in football and he has caught the eye on the field.
But Clark feels Ranger has let himself down a little. He added: “The news reports aren’t the reason Nile isn’t being selected. I just feel the group of players we are picking now are giving us the best chance to get results.
“Myself and especially (assistant manager) Alan Thompson know Nile very well. He’s worked with him before in his younger days.
“There’s an unbelievably talented young footballer in there somewhere but there’s a code of conduct as well.
“You have to conduct yourself well on and off the field.”
- Blackpool will play Fleetwood Town today in a behind-closed-doors clash.
Lee Clark is expected to name a number of his fringe players as well as youngsters Mark Waddington and Dom Telford.
The game is also likely to see former Pool favourite Keith Southern take the field for Fleetwood Town.